Continuation of flexibilities and discretions for EPA

You may remember when we contacted you in 2020 regards flexibilities and discretions put in place for the delivery of end-point assessment during the COVID-19 period.

Originally planned to last until the end of March 2021, the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education has confirmed that it is further extending apprenticeship flexibilities until at least the end of August 2021.

This will mean that no flexibilities will be withdrawn before the end of August 2021.

A full statement can be found on the Institute’s site here.

A list of apprenticeships with temporary discretions or flexibilities is available here.

Further guidance from The Department of Education and the Education and Skills Funding Agency as per our previous communication is available here.

If you have any queries on any of the above, please don’t hesitate to contact your account manager who will be happy to help.

How to Apply for a Teacher Assessed Grade with Highfield in 2021

Further to previous communications we have sent to our centres, we have published additional guidance on Teacher Assessed Grades (TAG) for centres delivering Highfield qualifications.

For all Highfield qualifications, you should first try to carry out all exams and assessments in the usual manner, where it is safe to do so in line with Public Health England’s advice and guidance. Where this is not possible centres should follow our detailed guidelines on adaptations for qualifications.

In line with the Vocational Contingency Regulatory Framework (VCRF), centres can apply for a Teacher Assessed Grade (TAG) where learners have undergone teaching and learning during the period 1 August 2020 to 31 August 2021 but have been unable to access an assessment.

A full list of Highfield qualifications where a TAG is applicable can be accessed here.

We have created a comprehensive webpage where you will find all the guidance you need in one place, complete with documents and downloads that explain the process and the steps you need to take in a thorough but easy-to-follow style.

The guidance on the webpage covers the following areas:

An explainer on who is and isn’t eligible, and the circumstances that will allow TAG to take place. This includes a handy flow chart that explains further whether or not your learners are eligible.

Our TAG process
How you can apply for TAG for each learner who meets the criteria, along with a link to the TAG Request Form and comprehensive details on how to complete and submit it correctly.

Head of Centre sign off
Complete guidance on the requirements for Head of Centre sign off, including consideration of previous achievement and the use of a deputy if the head of centre is not available, as well as an understanding of when TAG applies.

Completing the TAG Request Form
A detailed outline of the requirements for a TAG application and the evidence that must be included to support a TAG application.

Functional Skills
Additional requirements and guidelines specific to Functional Skills qualifications.

Further support
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this process or any of the TAG requirements, please contact your account manager, who will be happy to support and guide you further.

Introducing Highfield Core – our new functional skills platform

We are excited to announce the launch of our new Functional Skills assessment platform, Highfield Core.

Designed as a user-friendly, web-based platform, Highfield Core will allow your learners to navigate their own online assessments with ease.

Mock Assessments
You and your learners will soon be able to access the platform and carry out mock assessments to ensure you are suitably prepared for a smooth transition. You will also have access to a tutorial for both English and Maths exams, which will demonstrate how to use the different features learners may need to use during their exams.

Final Assessment and Booking Dates
The final assessment date for assessments on the current Surpass platform, including SecureClient, is 28 May 2021, after which, all assessments must be taken on Highfield Core.

The final date for booking Surpass assessments is 21 May 2021.

Remote invigilation
The booking form for Remote Invigilated Functional Skills exams must be received by 21 May 2021 to ensure they are booked for the Surpass platform. When sending your booking requests through, please note which platform you would like the assessment to be booked for. We have created a new booking form for you to use, which can be found on our Qualify at Home page as Exam Booking Form.

Any requests received by for exam bookings dated 29 May 2021 onwards will not be booked until w/c 17 May 2021. Unless we confirm otherwise, all learners will be booked on to their first preferred date, so you can confirm the date to the learner and let them know to expect their confirmation emails next month.

Any resit taking place on Highfield Core (where the original exam was taken on Surpass) must be booked by Highfield. To book these, please contact your account manager.

Webinars – Coming Soon
We will be running two free webinars to demonstrate the new platform. Dates and times are:

Thursday 6 May 10:00 – 11:00

Thursday 13 May 10:00 – 11:00

We will be in touch with you to keep you updated on the transition, but if you have any questions in the meantime, please contact your account manager.

Success for Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) e-learning

As well as being a pioneering resource to help businesses protect the public and colleagues across the country, our ACT Awareness e-learning – developed in partnership with NaCSTO and Marks & Spencer – has been top of the class when it comes to awards over the last couple of years.

ACT Awareness took TWO awards at the Outstanding Security Performance Awards held on 25 February 2021. The e-learning component took home the Outstanding Security Training Initiative award, which recognises and rewards excellent contributions to learning in the security sector. And the ACT Awareness app, developed by Urim in partnership with NaCTSO and Marks and Spencer and launched only 12 months ago, took the Outstanding Security Training Initiative award, which is a fantastic way to top off its first year of operation.

But that wasn’t all.

On 18 February 2021, the ACT Awareness e-learning was awarded one of the top awards in the Learning Impact category at the Learning Awards, which recognises businesses that have implemented any kind of learning intervention or learning programme that has had a measurable impact on outcomes.

That put the ACT Awareness e-learning up against learning programmes from some of the biggest names in the corporate world, so to have the impact of its learning recognised, and to take one of the main prizes, is a huge achievement and something we’re extremely proud of.

We are extremely, honoured to win such prestigious awards and to partner with such dedicated people from Marks and Spencer and NaCTSO.

The ACT Awareness e-learning and app provide potentially life-saving advice and the steps to follow should a terrorist attack ever happen. It tells you what you need to do to help protect your staff, customers and members of the public, making sure your business is adequately prepared for any eventuality.

Both are great for learning, and the app is a fantastic resource for businesses and their staff to have to hand should the worst ever happen. We’re hugely proud to see its value recognised in such a way.

So if you want to see what all the fuss is about, and why there are already 10,000 businesses registered to both the ACT Awareness e-learning and ACT Awareness app, just go to to play your part in keeping the public and colleagues safe.

We’ve updated our Security Products!

We have recently updated our Working as a Door Supervisor Training Presentation, Working as a Security Officer Presentation, Working as a CCTV Operator Training Presentation, and our Physical Intervention Skills Training Presentation.

These updates have been implemented to be in line with the recent developments to the relevant qualifications and to give your learners the most relevant knowledge for them to succeed.

What is included in the updates?
You will now receive additional modules within each of the presentations, which includes the new learning material. A detailed list of all modules for each presentation is below.

Working as a Door Supervisor Training Presentation
The modules covered by the 4  training presentations include:

Module 1 – Principles of working in the private security industry
Module 2 – Principles of working as a door supervisor in the private security industry
Module 3 – Application of conflict management in the private security industry
Door supervisors top up (Highfield level 2 award for door supervisors in the private security industry RQF)


Working as a Security Officer Presentation
The modules covered by the 4   training presentations include:

Module 1 – Principles of working in the private security industry
Module 2 – Principles of working as a security officer in the private security industry
Module 3 – Application of conflict management in the private security industry
Security officers top up (Highfield level 2 award for security officers in the private security industry RQF)


Working as a CCTV Operator Training Presentation
The modules covered by the 2 training presentations include:

  • Module 1 – Principles of working in the private security industry
  • Module 2 – Principles and practices of working as a CCTV Operator within the private security industry




Physical Intervention Skills Training Presentation
The topics covered by this presentation include:

  • Module 1 – Physical interventions and implications of their use
  • Module 2 – Risks associated with using physical intervention
  • Module 3 – Reducing the risks associated with physical interventions
  • Module 4 – Practical training in non-pain related physical skills to protect yourself and others from assault
  • Module 5 – Practical training in non-pain related standing, holding and escorting techniques


Anyone who has purchased one of these presentations within the past 12 months will automatically receive a digital download, which includes the updated learning modules.


Distance Learning Materials for Security Qualifications now on Vault

Distance learning materials for Highfield’s security qualifications are now available on Vault, our browser-based e-portfolio system.

If you have learners undertaking distance learning for our current Level 2 Award for Security Officers within the Private Security Industry, Level 2 Award for CCTV Operators (Public Space Surveillance) within the Private Security Industry and the first three units of our Level 2 Award for Door Supervisors in the Private Security Industry, keep it simple and use Vault.

Vault allows learners to complete programmes of work, interact with their assigned tutor, plan their activities and view their progress all in one place.

See how easy to use our security distance learning materials are on Vault by booking a private demo with one of our e-portfolio experts.


What do users think of Vault?

Our customers tell us that both tutors and learners find Vault engaging and straightforward to use, even for those with basic IT knowledge.

It’s flexible to their needs, saves valuable time by providing real-time reports and progress tracking, not to mention great value for money!

‘I found The Vault is a very easy system to use and unlike some of the other online assessment portfolios found on the market the Vault is very uncomplicated, very simple and basically it does what it says on the tin with all of the questions being mapped across to the standards making the audit process very easy to follow. In addition, the process of uploading additional documents and supporting photographs and product evidence is also uncomplicated and very easy to do. From a learners point of view, you can clearly identify the progress being made with the qualification and how much is still left to do. I also found the recording of off the job activities again uncomplicated and easy to audit.’ 
Learner with Mettle Training

Ready to get started with Vault now? Contact us today on 01302 363277 or email

Ask Highfield: Functional Skills Speaking & Listening webinar

Functional Skills webinarListening and responding to our customer’s needs is always top of Highfield’s agenda, and we want to offer whatever assistance we can during these challenging times. 

One area we feel we can provide real help and guidance in is functional skills speaking and listening exams, which is why we are trialling a new format of support webinar: Ask Highfield

Perhaps you would like some examples of best-practice learner support strategies for speaking and listening exams?

Or do you have questions about how best to standardise the pre-assessment briefs and assessment introductions?

Email in your questions to by Monday 26 April 2021 and our Principal Examiner will answer your FAQs during a live webinar broadcast on Thursday 6 May 2021.

For more information on all our events and webinars, please visit our Events page. 

Our food safety conference is back, and this time it’s FREE to centres!

Highfield’s food safety conference is the most anticipated event in our calendar, which is why we were so disappointed the 2020 conference in Birmingham was unable to go ahead due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

This year’s conference will be held virtually from Tuesday 8 June – Thursday 10 June in a series of live webinar broadcasts, bringing together some of the world’s leading food safety experts and organisations.

As the world continues to fight the pandemic, we know that maintaining consumer trust in food safety is going to be an essential part of the food industry’s recovery and growth in the months and years to come.

Supported by the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) and RHE Global, this year’s virtual conference is aimed at professionals working in food retail, food manufacturing, food service and catering, as well as food safety tutors and environmental health officers.

Providing access to knowledge and giving back to the food safety community are always high on our agenda. This is why we’re making all our 2021 conference webinars FREE to attend for Highfield registered trainers and centres! It’s our way of thanking you for your support during such a difficult time.

Tuesday 8 June

The impact of COVID-19 on food safety catering – Sterling Crew, Chair of The Food Authenticity Network Advisory Board.

The future of remote auditing and emerging technologies – Andy Kerridge, Food Safety and Quality Consultant, Wyvern Food Solutions Ltd.

Key food poisoning cases for Marler Clark and what lessons can businesses learn – Bill Marler, Attorney at Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm.

Wednesday 9 June

Demystifying allergen management in hospitality – Dr Lisa Ackerley, Strategic Food Safety Advisor, Public Health Company Ltd.

A scientist’s toolbox for food fraud – Dr James Donarski, Head of Food Authenticity at Fera Science Ltd.

Smarter food safety for the new normal – Frank Yiannas, Deputy Commissioner of Food Policy & Response at U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Thursday 10 June

Global food defence strategy and the impact of positive food safety behaviours – Denis Treacy, Chief Technical Officer, Culture Compass Ltd.

Evolving the regulatory model for food safety – Carmel Lynskey, Head of Achieving Business Compliance at Food Standards Agency.

Each webinar will last approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, allowing plenty of time to put your questions to our experts live during the broadcasts.

Attendees will receive a CPD certificate worth 2 CPD points for every conference webinar they attend. That’s 16 CPD points up for grabs!

Standard ticket prices are £20+VAT per webinar.

For Highfield trainers & centres, all 2021 conference webinars are completely FREE!

Plus, every conference attendee will receive a FREE place on Highfield’s Training solutions for a changing world webinar with Edward Dawson, International Development Manager at Highfield, on the final day of the conference.

To find out more about our speakers and supporters or book onto a webinar now go to or email us at

Specifications for new security top-up qualifications now available

We’ve been working hard over the last few months to update our range of licence-linked security top-up qualifications in line with new requirements from the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

And we’re delighted to say these qualifications have now been launched and are open for registration. 

The qualifications have been designed for individuals who currently hold a licence from the SIA to work as a door supervisor or security officer, and who need to be brought up to date with the new requirements.

The qualifications cover key areas such as:

• Principles of Terror Threat Awareness
• Principles of Using Equipment as a Door Supervisor (DS only)
• Application of physical intervention skills (DS only)
• Principles of Minimising Personal Risk for Security Officers (SO only)

The specifications can be found below:

Highfield Level 2 Award for Door Supervisors in the Private Security Industry (Top up)

Highfield Award for Door Supervisors in the Private Security Industry (Scotland) (Top up)

Highfield Level 2 Award for Security Officers in the Private Security Industry (Top up)

Highfield Award for Security Officers in the Private Security Industry (Scotland) (Top up)

Further information regarding the new top-up qualifications can also be found on the SIA website at ‘Get Training’ here.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about the new qualifications, please contact your account manager who will be happy to help.

NEW: Level 2 Certificate for Kitchen Assistants now available

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve launched a brand-new qualification for the hospitality and catering sector that will give your learners and colleagues a great start to their career.

The Highfield Level 2 Certificate for Kitchen Assistants (RQF) has been developed to support a role in the workplace and is ideal for learners employed as kitchen assistants, or who are wishing to develop their skills in the industry.

The topics the qualification covers include:

  • The principles of food safety and health and safety
  • An introduction to the hospitality industry
  • Kitchen equipment and knife skills
  • Workplace standards and professional development
  • Cold food preparation and presentation

The total qualification time (TQT) for the qualification is 147 hours, of which 96 are recommended as guided learning hours.

The qualification is assessed in two ways, with Units 1 and 2 (Principles of Food Safety for Catering and Health and Safety within the workplace) assessed through multiple-choice examination, externally set and marked by Highfield Qualifications.

Units 3-6 are assessed by an internally set and assessed portfolio of evidence.

Further information is available here.

Pricing is £45 per registration or £39.75 per registration on purchases of 100 or more.

If you’re interested in delivering this qualification, please contact your account manager who will be happy to help.